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Hurricane warning as another tussle with Jezki beckons


Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux

Un De Sceaux

Any day Hurricane Fly goes to the races is a day worth joining him.

His enthralling tussles with Jezki have helped epitomise why we love the sport and this weekend you've a chance to witness it all over again, and more.

He may be a two-time champion at Cheltenham but because he didn't manage two-in-a-row over there, Hurricane Fly has seemingly picked up some doubters but the carriage of critics is sparsely populated compared to the freight carrying his supporters, many of whom will surround the parade ring at Leopardstown at around 2.45pm on Sunday.

This season 'The Fly' has proved to be the nemesis of Jessica Harrington's Champion Hurdle hero. At Christmas, we literally had a cracker with only half-a-length separating the pair.

That margin may suggest Jezki is improving enough, as the season goes on, to maybe shade the verdict this weekend, but it's the resolve shown by the battling Hurricane Fly, and his willingness to dig so deep, which means the crowd at Leopardstown is likely to see the 11-year-old win a 22nd Grade One race for Willie Mullins.

Hurricane Fly and Jezki aren't the only superstars on show. Arctic Fire is rapidly improving and was on the heels of those two last time out and it'll be interesting to see how he fares, but it is in the Irish Arkle that we will see another name for the future.

Un De Sceaux would still be unbeaten in seven starts had he got his landing gear out on his chase debut at Thurles and despite stepping up to the top level for the very first time against proven graded winners in Clarcam and Gilgamboa, Un De Sceaux is still favourite to blitz the three-runner field.

Should the Arkle favourite not win, whichever of the two that beats him will themselves be proven as top class and a leading contender for the Cheltenham Festival.

And speaking of superstars, the Grade Two novice hurdle on the card will feature No More Heroes for Gordon Elliott and it'll be a major surprise if he doesn't make his mark on National Hunt racing over the coming seasons.